December 31, 2008

Creative Playthings Playsack Turns Classic "Bag-On-Head" Punishment Into Hours Of Flame-Retardant Fun!


Hmm, look what else is in that New Jersey basement. An unopened Creative Playthings Playsack, which, as you could probably guess, is a giant paper bag that a kid is supposed to play in.

The eBay description is intriguingly detailed, "It is the bear #FG106. [i.e., the loner shown playing by herself on the packaging, above. -ed.] These fantasy playsacks were released (I believe) in 1972," which makes me wonder if this seller had a connection to the company back in the day.

[Jan. 2010 update: It's so obvious now that his daughter mentions it in the comments, but it turns out Playsacks were designed by legendary CP artist/illustrator Fredun Shapur.]

Interestingly, the only significant Google result for Creative Playthings Playsacks was from the appendix of How To Father, a 1974 parenting book by Dr. Fitzhugh Dodson. Dodson's How To Parent (1970) was considered a tougher-love antidote to the previous generation's Dr. Spock-style permissiveness. Dodson may very well be the Father of the Time Out. I'll look into that.

In his foreword, Dr. Richard Gardner of the Columbia University writes,

We are living at a time when, more than ever before in recent generations, the father's vital role in the child-rearing process is beginning to be valued. Not only have women been denied opportunities in the traditionally male realms, but men as well have been taught to believe that too much involvement in the upbringing of their children is somehow unmanly and likely to compromise their masculinity.

Although much progress is being made toward giving women their due in the extradomestic realm, there has been less emphasis on changes in the male role that will be necessary if men are to fulfill themselves in the domestic area. This book, so far as I know the first written specifically for the child-rearing father (almost unconsciously, many writers of such manuals have composed them with the mother in mind), is meant to fill a vacuum that has existed too long and that should long ago have been filled.

Fortunately, in the intervening 35 years, we have completely solved that problem. So I just ordered my $0.61 used copy of How To Father from Amazon for purely historical reasons, to see what such a backwards era must have been like.

Creative Playthings Bear Playsack Brand New in Package, currently $8.25 +$6 s/h, auction ends Jan. 3rd update: sold for $20.50+s/h [ebay]
Buy a vintage copy of Dr. Fitzhugh Dodson's How To Father for like a dollar [amazon]


Believe it or not I am one of the kids in the picture.
My Father designed Playsacks back in the late 60s.
Good to see there are still some around

I really love these Playsacks! I'd love any more information that Mr Shapur has about them and his father's work.

You can contact me directly at

Apologies Andrea, I have just found this reply. Playsacks really were wonderful!

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